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Keywords:

  • thermoplastics;
  • recycling;
  • swelling;
  • mechanical properties;
  • biomaterials

Abstract

Dimensional stability, mechanical properties, and melting and crystallization behavior of polypropylene composites filled with sunflower seed cake (SSC) were investigated. Injection molded composites were prepared from the SSC flour and polypropylene with and without maleic anhydride-grafted polypropylene (MAPP) at 30, 40, 50, and 60 wt % contents of the SSC flour. Twenty-eight days thickness swelling and water absorption values of the specimens increased by 43 and 56% as the filler content increased from 30 to 60 wt %, respectively. The flexural modulus of the polypropylene composites increased from 3157 to 4363 MPa as the SSC flour increased from 30 to 60 wt %. The maximum flexural strength 38.4 MPa was observed for 40 wt % SSC flour filled specimens. However, further increment in the SCC flour decreased the flexural strength to 31.4 MPa. The tensile strength of the specimens decreased from 22.5 to 14 MPa while the tensile modulus increased from 3023 to 3677 MPa as the SSC flour increased from 30 to 60 wt %. The dimensional stability and mechanical properties of the composites were significantly improved by the incorporation of the coupling agent (MAPP). The effect of the MAPP addition was more pronounced for the strength than for the modulus. The melting temperature and degree of crystallinity of the neat polypropylene decreased with increasing content of the SSC flour. The degree of crystallinity of filled composites considerably increased with the incorporation of the MAPP. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013